$164m ‘Fraud’ Found in Baghdad Municipality

The discovery of two fake contracts in which officials from Baghdad municipality were involved has shed new light on the extent of corruption in the country, according to a report from Azzaman.

The municipality claims that two of its senior officials were involving in doctoring two $164 million contracts for the construction of sports stadiums in Baghdad with an alleged Turkish contractor.

Baghdad’s mayor, Saber al-Isawi [Issawi], pictured, said the documents he seized revealed that the two officials – Waleed Adrees and Mohammed Saheb – would have reaped millions of dollars in kickbacks.

The mayor said the seizure of the documents led to the revelation of an extensive “network of corruption”, involving many people, including foreigners.

But he only revealed the names of the two officials working in Baghdad municipality, who, he said, were referred to the judicial authorities for trial.

The forged documents, if not discovered, would have cost the municipality $164 million, the value of the two contracts.

The report claims that several commissions looking into corruption in Iraq have revealed fake contracts worth billions of dollars for reconstruction projects. The money has gone but there is no trace of the projects on the ground.

Isawi did not say whether this was the first instance of fraud in the municipality.

(Source: Azzaman)

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